From Our European Correspondent

I ran into a reader of the blog on reddit yesterday, I had thrown together a small book giveaway for the fine folks at r/bookcollecting. This reader, Daniel John Benton, hails from across the pond and had a number of interesting finds, and so I asked if I could share them. Commentary is his:

A four-leaf clover found in S.T. Coleridge's "Biographia Literaria" (printed 1917). This was my last purchase from Bank Street Books (Dumfries, Scotland) on the day the shop closed forever, and as you can see, it bore omens of good fortune. Coleridge is my favourite classic poet. The four-leaf clover is still in there. Hopefully in another 90 years someone will appreciate it. It's actually kind of funny: a close family member has spent all her life looking for one growing, and I stumble across one neatly pressed in a nice book. I guess that's just luck for you.

A cutting of white heather found in a Victorian print of Porter's "The Scottish Chiefs." Unfortunately, not much I can tell you besides the summary. The book is undated and came from an English family member - although the pressed heather indicates it may have been purchased on a holiday up north!

No idea what this is. Found in "The Republic of Plato" (printed 1890). "I have pleasure in promising to subscribe towards the support of the work in this town of the "Queen Victoria's Jubilee" Nurse, through that portion of the Fund contributed by the Dorking Wesleyan Church."

Both of these come from the same beautiful 1890 copy of Plato's "Republic," which is annotated and underlined throughout by one Elizabeth Budge.

A WWII-era (1941) Liverpool bus ticket found in a book on the Life of General Gordon (printed ~1890s). The age of the book is a best guess as there is no date to be found. The original owner's ornate signature, and the overall interior and exterior design of the book suggest it is a late Victorian edition, although it could be somewhat younger.

"Molly Eye App" (2007) - written on the back of an AA card in "A Lexicon of Freemasonry" (printed 1919).

A Safeway garage receipt (I blurred out some parts I wasn't sure about) from 2003, found in "A Lexicon of Freemasonry" (printed 1919). It's nothing to us, but someone will probably find that in a hundred years and find it fascinating. The book was purchased at a small book fair in Scotland - coincidentally, in an old, ornate Masonic hall. It is what I would consider a perfect find - an antique, strange, interesting book full of obscure facts and content. The entries range from everything between ancient Egyptian mythology to entries on the Illuminati. The book itself was written during the Victorian era, this edition being a 1919 print with a few more "up to date" appendices.

-Click to enlarge photos-


  1. HEY! Thanks for the guest post! Books are books, and they are often bookmarked, but your the first that I know of to make these finds available to all of us.

  2. Awesome collection of books and bookmarks! I approve. :D

  3. I tucked a four leaf clover into "A Wrinkle in Time" once, I still have the book but at some point the clover fell out and was lost.